Disrupting the financial advice space is a difficult thing to do because of burdensome laws and regulations. The industry is over regulated because it could not be trusted to provide credible financial advice to the public. For years on end, unqualified people sold financial products and put their own gain above their clients’ needs. The industry did not realise that focusing on clients’ interests and improving clients’ ability to make sound financial decisions is our main duty as financial planners.
At Ultima, we strive to provide the best and most innovative options for our clients, following a scientific and professional approach and working on improving our clients’ financial behavior. Our financial planners do not earn commission on products sold, which means we keep our clients’ best interests at heart. We do this by focusing on the following:
We believe people want to engage with financial planners who have both qualifications and experience. If expert advice is required, someone with a legal or accounting background should be the person to provide that advice. Gone are the days where selling policies to unsuspecting clients was the domain of smooth-talking salesmen – and the world is a better place for it.
We require our financial planners to be Certified Financial Planners® and members of the Financial Planning Institute or in the process of obtaining such a qualification. This enables us to provide our clients with expert advice, taking tax, relevant legislation, and professional practices into account.
Innovative Investment Options
The world has become a global village full of opportunity. However, we are never free of market risk. No above market return (alpha) comes without taking on risk. With this in mind, we include risk in portfolios when aligned with the goals and objectives.
Ultima strives to be on the forefront of innovative ideas in the financial advice space as one of the pioneers of the fee-based financial advice model. We seek to innovate so that we can provide our clients with world class solutions. When we consider investment options, we base our decisions on three pillars:
- The option must be within our scope and registered with the FSCA or a related global regulator.
- The option must provide a unique opportunity with a good underlying case for growth.
- The service provider’s business must be done with the highest level of integrity.
Our latest innovation is offering offshore investments to our clients to provide a dollar-based income in a secure industry. Research has shown that healthcare is the preferred sector in the US (as you can see in the figure below) because people are living longer, new technology is emerging and society is driven to be healthier. Our research has also shown that the healthcare industry is stable and quite resilient during times of economic instability since people still need medical attention even during an economic crunch.
We advise our clients to diversify a portion of their investment portfolio, between 5% and 10%, and to invest directly into medical facilities in the US through OrbVest, a global real estate company that invests in US income producing medical commercial real estate.
Preserving capital is a key priority to OrbVest. Each property is assessed and vetted by an independent investment committee made up of people with decades of knowledge and experience in real estate investment, development and risk assessment. Properties are bought, renovated and equipped, then rented out to medical practitioners. The rent is collected, and a gain is realised when the property is sold halfway through the average lease period.
Investors can choose to earn a quarterly dollar-based income through dividends declared by a company registered in the Seychelles. An investor can also earn a growth on their capital when the property is sold, generally within five years.
The ability to research and apply innovative investment options responsibly to our client portfolios is what gives us a competitive advantage.
Changing Behavior Through Coaching
A coach has a massive impact on any team. For example, Rassie Erasmus took over as coach of the Springboks 18 months before the 2019 World Cup, when no one thought the Springboks had a chance of winning. Rassie took the players through a process of determining their goals and the players were committed to the cause. Similarly, we coach our clients to refine their potential and to keep them accountable for the commitments they make. This journey consists of the following:
- Making the client aware of their goals by helping them to clearly state their goals and objectives. This objective driven approach differs from the product driven focus of the past. This is a very liberating experience for clients and will give them a much higher chance of reaching their potential.
- Assessing whether clients need help changing harmful financial behavior. Our coaching aims to enable clients to change their behavior through understanding how they are the driving force behind their behavior. This helps our clients find new ways of approaching problems to achieve better results.
- Using tools like Shadowmatch® and Enneagram to assess a client’s habits, worldview and archetype, which enables us to provide accurate and relevant feedback.
We coach our clients to achieve a positive return on life (ROL) ratio. Unlike a return on investment (ROI), a ROL ratio determines success in terms of building relationships, rewarding experiences and the sense of purpose. Through this, we enable our clients to have a truly meaningful life.